Important govt-opposition talks on NAB law amendments, FATF action plan to be held today

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ISLAMABAD: The government and opposition parties will discuss today (Monday) amendments to the National Accountability (NAB) laws, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, as both sides deliberate how to arrive at a consensus on the anti-corruption bureau’s powers.

The government has, supposedly, withdrawn the demand to extend the tenures of chairman NAB, deputy chairman and prosecutor general. Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi spoke to The News to confirm that the government has withdrawn the demand to seek chairman NAB’s reappointment.

The discussions will be held by a 24-member parliamentary committee, headed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, at the Parliament House. The committee is supposed to take up nine drafts of legislation, mostly related to the FATF framework.

Abbasi had said on Sunday that the PML-N will not oppose any legislation required for the FATF but will ensure that no law repugnant to basic human rights and civil  liberties is approved in both Houses of the parliament.

The former prime minister slammed the Bureau, saying that it had been exposed by the Supreme Court in the Khawaja brothers’ verdict. He said that talks with the government will be held with an open mind so that legislation takes place with an open mind.

The government earlier had proposed amendments to the NAB contain clauses which seek to remove the “non-extendability” of the appointment of its chairman, deputy chairman and the prosecutor general.

Abbasi said that no agreement between both sides will be reached in haste but at the same time, warned the government that Pakistan was bound to make legislative changes to the FATF before August 3.